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Immigrant students: poverty has more impact on success than mother tongue

Several obstacles stand in the way of schooling for students with an immigrant background, here as elsewhere. We note, however, that attending a highly multi-ethnic school would not have a significant negative impact on success.

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Several obstacles stand in the way of schooling for students with an immigrant background, here as elsewhere. We note, however, that attending a highly multi-ethnic school would not have a significant negative impact on success.

Pupils' academic performance does not depend on the number of children with an immigrant background in the school they attend, or whether they speak languages other than the language of instruction. This is what we learn in a recent newsletter of the'Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The latter analyzed in detail the data of thePisa 2009 survey, carried out among 34 OECD member countries as well as 41 partner countries and economies, to draw this conclusion.

For young immigrants, the fact of attending a school in an underprivileged environment characterized by poor mother's education would have a greater negative impact. “For pupils with an immigrant background - as for all pupils, moreover - the fact of being concentrated in educational establishments attended by pupils facing the same socio-economic disadvantage as them constitutes an obstacle. major to academic success, ”says one. The good news is that Canada is below the OECD average for the number of immigrant youth attending schools with a high proportion of students with poorly educated mothers.

In addition, many educational establishments deemed to be “very efficient” welcome several young people from immigrant backgrounds, it should be noted. These good results are often attributable to the implementation of national or regional policies aimed at facilitating the reception of a heterogeneous clientele.

 

PISA: Program for International Student Assessment
OECD: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

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About the Author

Nathalie Côté
Nathalie Cote
Nathalie is a journalist. His favorite themes are family, education, health, consumption, the environment and social phenomena. She contributes in particular to the newspaper La Presse.

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